Verification Guidelines

Each year when you apply for financial aid, you have a chance of being selected for a process called verification. Chaffey College is required to verify certain information provided by a student/parent on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application. Applications requiring review are selected by the US Department of Education or the California Student Aid Commission. In addition, Chaffey College is required to select and verify any application that contains incorrect or discrepant information.

Verification Deadlines for 2023-2024

The key application deadline, regulated by the U.S. Department of Education, will be followed at Chaffey College and can be located in the Department of Education Verification Guide.

Deadline for 2023-2024: Students who fail to turn in all documents required to complete verification by the last day of instruction for the semester of attendance, may be ineligible for 2022-2023 financial aid.

  • Fall 2023 – December 15, 2023
  • Spring 2024- May 16, 2024
  • Fall 2023 & Spring 2024- May 16, 2024


*The deadline is extended for Summer 2024 attendance to July 26, 2024. Chaffey College reserves the right to cut off applications earlier based on workload.

If you are selected for verification, either by the federal processor or by the Chaffey College Office of Financial Aid, students will be notified of the documents that must be submitted through their Student Forms at to complete verification.

Financial Aid Notification and Missing Information Letters are generated to your panther student email account with instructions to visit MyChaffeyPortal  to view your required documents in Self Service for required documentation and any other actions required to complete the verification process. 

 *Note:  Students who have not previously utilized Student Forms will be required to register their account. 

Your documents will be reviewed and information on your FAFSA confirmed or corrected. Depending on the documentation provided we may complete your financial aid award or request additional documents. You can continue to check the status of your documents by going to Student Forms at or check your panther email periodically for updates.

The review process could take a 2-4 weeks depending on the time of year and the volume of applications. You will be notified after the verification process is finished and a financial aid award has been made available to view in Self Service.


If discrepancies are found between the documents submitted for verification and the information on the SAR or ISIR, the following procedures will be used for making the corrections:

  • SAR – Corrections to income or asset figures, household size, and dependency will be made by Chaffey College to obtain an accurate need analysis of your financial aid application information. If corrections are needed, the data will be sent to the Central Processor to produce an updated electronic Student Aid Report (SAR).
  • Award changes – If corrections to the SAR due to verification result in a change in the student’s award, the student will be sent a revised Award notification by email.  Financial aid notifications are produced daily for new awards and changes to awards.


Dependency Status

Dependency status refers to whether a financial aid applicant is dependent or independent. This will determine whose information you include on the FAFSA or CA Dream Act application. If you’re a dependent student, you will report your and your parents’ information. If you’re an independent student, you will report your own information (and, if you’re married, your spouse’s).

Federal regulations consider you a dependent student for financial aid purposes unless you meet one of the following criteria (An independent student may be required to verify their status by filling out specific documents related to the specific application item that makes the student independent):

  • You were born before January 1, 2000
  • You were married on or before the date you completed the FAFSA or CADAA
  • You will be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, or Ph.D., etc.) at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year
  • You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training
  • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • You have or will have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023
  • You have dependents (other than your children and spouse) who live with you and who will receive more than half of their support from you, between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2023
  • At any time since you turned 13, both your parents were deceased, you were in foster care or were a dependent/ward of the court
  • You are/were an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your legal state of residence
  • You are/were in legal guardianship as determined by a court when you reached the age of majority in your legal state of residence
  • On or after July 1, 2022, your high school or school district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.  Unaccompanied youth who are/were homeless are defined as:
    • 21 years of age or younger or still enrolled in high school as of the day you sign the FAFSA application
    • not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, or
    • lacking fixed, regular and adequate housing
  • On or after July 1, 2022, the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless. 


Verification of Household Size

Parent remarriage after applying

If the applicant is a dependent student and his parent remarries between the application and the verification process, the household size must include the new stepparent.

Other adult legal dependents (other than spouse and children)

Other adult persons who live with the student and/or parents of a dependent student and receive more than 50% or more of their support from the student or dependent student’s parent as of the FAFSA or CA Dream Act signing date and will continue to do so for the academic year must submit documentation to verify this in order to be included in the household size.


Verification of Income

All students selected for verification must verify their income by providing the correct document from the IRS.

If the student or parent filed taxes, they must submit a copy of their tax transcripts and/or parents’ tax transcripts (if the IRS Data Retrieval was not used). If a student or parent was required to file taxes and did not, verification cannot proceed until the student or parent submit a tax transcript or use the IRS Data Retrieval on the FAFSA (if available). The IRS Data Retrieval is not available on the CA Dream Act Application. 

  • If the student and their spouse or parents of a dependent student are separated or divorced, but filed a joint tax return, W-2 forms are required to determine the amount of income and taxes paid for the student or the custodial parent of a dependent student. (Custodial parent refers to the parent who had custody of the student or who the student last lived with.)  In the case of stepparents, both incomes will be used in the calculation.
  • If the student’s parent(s) filed an amended 2021 IRS tax return, the parents must provide both a 2021 IRS Tax Transcript and a signed copy of the 2021 IRS Form 1040X “Amended US Individual Tax Return that was filed with the IRS.
  • If an individual has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, provide the following documents: A copy of the IRS Form 4868 “Application for automatic Extension of Time to file US Individual Tax Return and copy of IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment received for tax year 2021 and if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individuals AGI and US Income tax paid for tax year 2021.
  • A victim of IRS identity theft who has been unable to obtain a 2021 IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS DRT must provide a signed copy of the 2021 paper IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS and a signed copy of IRS Form 14039 “Identity Theft Affidavit” if one was submitted to the IRS. If a copy of Form 14039 was not retained or the IRS did not require you to submit one, the student or parent (if dependent) may provide one of the following:
  • A statement signed and dated explaining he/she was a victim of IRS identity theft, and that IRS is investigating the matter. The statement must also indicate that the individual submitted a Form 14039 to the IRS but did not keep a copy or that he/she was not required to file the form: or
  • A copy of a police report if it was filed related to the IRS identity theft. 


Subsequent ISIR transaction

If the Financial Aid Office receives another ISIR transaction after the student’s file has already been awarded, the new ISIR transaction must be verified.  Any changes to data elements that result in a change in EFC must be verified by requesting additional documentation and placing a hold on the financial aid disbursement until resolved.